Tom's Blog

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recent bird sightings and other things

The sandhill cranes were here on February 21, 2012. On Feb. 19 they weren't here yet, so they have just arrived. There were three of them, perhaps the same three we had last year who stayed around until October?

Bob Wernerehl reported yesterday that there was a flock of tree sparrows on the south-facing slope, presumably heading north to their breeding ground in the tundra.

Susan heard and then we all saw eastern bluebirds near the east end of the Valley Prairie. Kathie cleaned out the bluebird houses last fall and went around two weeks ago and closed all the doors. We generally are quite successful with the bluebird houses, although we also have plenty of natural nesting sites in snags.

Canada geese are nesting again. Last Thursday when we were spraying willow in the marsh they were flying over at low altitude. We have lots of open water, since we have plenty of springs and seeps. One of the attractions of our hilly oak savanna landscape is the thick sandstone beds that provide a great reservoir of groundwater to the Wonewoc Formation, which underlies our wetland. When you walk through our sedge meadows you have to keep careful lookout for small seeps and springs. Some of them are no more than a few feet across, but they never freeze, even in a cold winter.

This week we will be starting to work on our fire breaks, since it won't be long before we'll be burning. Exciting time!


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